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The Proposed 'Official Book of Dating, Romance & Relationship Etiquette For Modern Times'

Updated on February 14, 2014

What a shame to miss out on a true love because initial dating etiquette did not match. I want a book stamped by 'Oprah' to refer to!

Wouldn't it be nice if there was an "official" book of rules when it comes to the conduct and rituals associated with dating? We see “official” looking books of this nature that rapidly appear on book store shelves all the time.

We are often disappointed to find that these books quickly find their way to the 75% off shelves, often appearing next to other books with contrasting subject matter and titles such as ‘Powerful Spells to Bring Back Your Lover’. The book with the information so full of promise is now just a flash in the pan, like so many others. Why has dating, love and romance in modern times become baffling to so many?

The type of “official” book that I am referring to would be the “Big Book” of sorts that would be sanctioned by everyone who is anyone in the world of interpersonal relationships. The book would provide guidelines on proper dating and relationship etiquette in the face of a society that is so rapidly changing.

The confusion we are contending with has been brought on by the 1960’s women’s movement which has turned the gender roles up-side down and backwards. With each new generation subsequent to the women’s movement, the gender roles continue to evolve and change, further adding to and mixing up the already existing uncertainty and confusion.

Although the emotion behind the change is not quite as intense as in the past and people are becoming more level-headed about how to manage the confusion, it remains confusing nevertheless.

The confusion about gender roles brought on by the ‘Women’s Liberation’ movement has been further compounded by the rapidly colliding cultures as many prejudices by our young people are waning or are no longer felt. Inter-racial dating has become increasingly more socially acceptable.

Much of what is happening in terms of the changing roles along with the integration of various cultures are a step in the right direction, however, if we are going to make such huge social changes, we need to be prepared to make them.

Cultural blending likely will naturally come easier to the younger generations than to preceding generations; however, this does not mean that the differences between cultures and ethnic backgrounds do not exist. Having some background information and understanding of cultural differences would likely pave the way to a smoother time as it relates to inter-racial dating and relationships.

When you think about it, dating is not a whole lot different from going on a job interview. The company from whom one is seeking a job looks to find information about the candidate. You, being the candidate would benefit from doing the same.

Having an understanding of the company’s history, values etc. prior to interviewing would help you to get a feel for whether the company is one that would be a good fit for you and work out in the long run. In addition, having some prior understanding of the company and its values shows respect and helps to facilitate a smooth flow of conversation. This is conducive to an overall positive outcome, regardless of whether you feel the job is for you or not and vice-versa.

Apply all the above information pertaining to a job interview into a situation in which you are going on a date with someone that may or may not be of a different ethnic background than yourself. Take into consideration your youth, inexperience, emotional and hormonal levels that come with being young and you can surely imagine how helpful it would be to have information going into the experience!

The “official” book of dating, romance and relationship etiquette for modern times, I cannot emphasize enough, would only be information and guidelines. People writing the book cannot possibly know the truth that lies behind each individual regardless of what culture they are from.

The decision about whether to enter into a relationship based on common values, of course would need to be based on communication between the 2 people involved. The involved people could utilize the book together to either validate or negate the information as it relates to their individual circumstances and personal values.

The “official” book would provide general guidelines of etiquette for specific situations that people often find awkward. Some examples might include; who pays, when, under what circumstances; first date, which party did the asking out, one party makes significantly more money than the other etc.

Another example would be how to end the night; should I ask him in, kiss him etc. We have been forced to ‘wing’ these uncomfortable situations and somehow we get through them, but wouldn't it be nice to just simply know what is expected rather than having to do the guess work?

I think the date would certainly be more enjoyable and productive if the anxiety regarding all these silly expectations were removed. It certainly would make it easier to focus on the reason for being on the date in the first place which is for both parties to get to know each other.

The “official” book would have multiple editions; the first being about courtship, romance, dating etiquette, cultural values, gender roles etc. This edition would leave off at commitment and marriage which would be addressed in a separate volume.

As decades and centuries pass, so would the honorary writing torch, keeping the “official” book relevant and pertinent to the times. The torch would be bestowed upon other scholarly type of people that are experts in the field of human relationships, cultural expectations, values and societal norms.

Being asked to create new editions of this book would be considered to be one of the highest honors, with the finished product of achievement being one of such high standing that the opportunity to update the edition simply would not be turned down. It would be a “Lifetime Achievement” of sorts.

The big question that exists at the moment would be who should write the first one and how does one go about creating the high standard for the book in the first place? Who would you choose to write the first book? Oprah, anyone?

How helpful do you think that a book like this would be?

I could have used a reputable book of dating and relationship guidelines because:

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